We have an old pioneer expression that is popular in my church. It is “Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” While I have understood this expression in theory, I rarely put it into practice. I lived my life so frivolously, when a shirt was stained, I replaced it. If I didn’t have the ingredient I needed, I ran to the store and bought it. My reasoning: What is a measly few bucks and a quick grocery store run compared to the energy and, yes, expense or pain of fixing or doing without it? It's cheaper and faster to consume.
Now in my old age (30+!) I’m beginning to understand what my pioneer forbearers were all about. I have begun to live the fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without creed. I patch ripped knees, ignore tattered shoes, make my own frosting, and live without a number of things I’d really like. Sure some of my reasoning is economically and ecologically inspired, but, truthfully, it is mostly Avoidance Motivated.
After all, who in their right mind takes four children out to the grocery store during a Minnesota winter at 5 pm for a loaf of bread? I’d rather make it myself or serve tortillas. Have you ever taken a gaggle of children to a department store so that just one of them can try on ten pairs of pants while the others plunder, pillage, and hide in the middle of clothes racks? I’ll dig out the sewing basket thank you.
So, it turns out those wily ancestors knew a thing or too, and it wasn’t what I supposed it to be. They probably weren’t keeping to a strict budget or living up to some rugged individualist code. They were just preserving their sanity by avoiding check out line break-downs.